Missouri Senator Kit Bond
joined Senate Republicans in blocking legislation which
would have changed the U.S. military culture to include the performance of abortions
and active service by avowed homosexuals.
The controversial subjects had been attached
as amendments to the annual Defense Department budget authorization bill, which
had been previously approved by the House of Representatives.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pressed for passage of the amendments which would
have repealed the longstanding ban on homosexual service in the U.S. Armed Services,
and authorized the performance of abortions at medical facilities on U.S military
bases around the world. Reid sought to overcome a threatened filibuster by Senator
John McCain, who strongly opposed the change in military standards. Missouri Senator
Claire McCaskill supported the pro-abortion and pro-homosexual amendments and voted
for the unsuccessful cloture motion, while Senator Bond voted to block consideration
of the measure.
The proposal has been repeatedly incorrectly described by the media as the repeal
of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Actually, the amendment would have repealed
a law passed by Congress in 1993 which codified the longstanding military policy
on homosexuality. That law states that a person who "engages in, attempts to
engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts"
is ineligible for military service. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was a policy subsequently
adopted by the Clinton Administration which instructed military officials not to
compel enlistees to disclose their sexual preferences or practices.
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, and a former Marine, saluted
the decision by Senators to scuttle the bill and its hostile amendments. "This
is the second time this year that the Senate has rejected an insistent liberal social
agenda and delivered a victory for the men and women of the Armed Forces. This
vote helps ensure that America's military is used first and foremost to do its duty--to
fight and win wars--and not advance radical social policy."
The vote on homosexualization of the military came on the heels of a "survey" conducted
by the Defense Department gauging the attitudes of service members and their spouses
on the subject. While the survey never asked respondees whether they agreed with
repeal of the current standards, it nonetheless revealed major resistance to the
inclusion of open homosexuals in military units.
28 percent of the 115,000 service members who responded said that service by homosexuals
in the military would have a negative or very negative effect on morale. 30 percent
said that it would have a negative or very negative impact on unit cohesion. Opposition
was particularly pronounced among combat units. 57% of Marine combat forces and
47% of Army combat forces said that serving alongside active homosexuals would
have a negative or very negative impact on unit cohesion.
The report confirms concerns among active service members that open homosexuality
would lead to "homosexual promiscuity, harassment, and unwelcome advances within
units, invasion of personal privacy, and an overall erosion of standards of conduct,
unit cohesion, and morality."
The survey results also revealed that a change in military standards could lead
to a major exodus of current service members. Nearly 13 percent of those responding
said they would leave their military career sooner than planned, and another 11
percent said they would be considering an early exit.
Survey responses also pointed out that the repeal of the ban would a major adverse
impact on military recruitment. 27 percent of respondents said that the proposed
change would have a negative impact on their willingness
to recommend to a family
member or close friend that they join the military. This is a serious concern considering
the nature of America's all-volunteer armed forces. Most military recruits come
from a limited demographic: middle class, the South and Mountain West, conservative
and religious families, and more often than not from families with a history of
The Defense Department survey also acknowledged that the change in policy would
be contrary to the religious values of many service members. "In the course of
our review," the study report says, "we heard a large number of service members
raise religious and moral objections to homosexuality...
Some feared repeal of [the
law] might limit their individual freedom of expression and free exercise of religion,
or require them to change their personal beliefs about the morality of homosexuality.
The views expressed to us cannot be downplayed or dismissed."
Such concerns were further amplified by recent comments by Admiral Michael Mullen,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mullen recently told a Senate panel that
service members who disagree with the military's embrace of homosexuality need
to "find another place to work."
The report also reinforces the often stated concern expressed by military chaplains
about the consequences of repeal. The report states, "Some of the most intense and
sharpest divergence of views...exists among the chaplain corps. A large number of
military chaplains believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination, and that
they are required by God to condemn it as such."
The failure of the Defense Department bill also spelled the defeat of the Burris
Amendment, added to the bill in committee by Illinois Senator Roland Burris
amendment would have required medical facilities on U.S. military property to perform
abortions on demand. Current law prohibits the performance of abortions at Department
of Defense medical facilities or by Department of Defense medical personnel unless
the life of the mother is endangered or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
Missouri Congressman Todd Akin
has been a strong critic of the Burris proposal.
"This amendment turns our military health care system into domestic and international
abortion providers. Overnight, our tax dollars would convert 423 military hospitals
and medical facilities into new abortion clinics."
Charmaine Yoest, President of Americans United for Life, cheered the demise of the
Burris Amendment. "We commend the Senators for protecting our men and women in the
military so that they do not become the means to advance taxpayer-funded abortion
on demand. We know that more than 70 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding
of abortion, and this vote reflected the moral and fiscal values of the American
You can thank Senator Bond for his decision to maintain the high standards of military
service and oppose the killing of preborn children at our military bases by using
You can let Senator McCaskill know of your feelings about her support for the homosexualization
of the military and taxpayer-paid abortions by clicking this link: